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The Hares on the March campaign was finally launched on  November 12th at the RDS. It’s has been a long month moving the hare from my studio to the kitchen table, to the studio, and then back to the kitchen again, BUT it was completed on time for the deadline…phew!

I have to say that, I really enjoyed working on it and I was sorry to say goodbye to this beautiful object. The mysterious hare is an animal I always adored from Irish wildlife so it really was a pleasure to be apart of this project, as well as helping to raise awareness about the Jack and Jill Foundation. Looking forward to seeing all the other hares dotted around the city in 2016. The design is inspired by my love of the paintings of Henri Rousseau, Patrick Scott and all manner of life from the natural world, as well as the mystical. Below are some shots of the making of  ‘Midnight’s Fable.’

Please click here if you would like to find out about sponsorship and how you can raise money for this worthy cause.

Keep an eye out for ‘Midnight’s Fable’ around Dublin city in the coming months! :)

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Work in progress, at the studio in Laois…

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…and my kitchen table in Dublin…

 

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The Blind Elephant Collective’s Annual Winter show is finally here, and as a new member (since June 2015) i’m really chuffed to be apart of another deadly project and exhibition with such a talented bunch of people. Keep on rockin’ Blind Elephants!:) Below are two pieces I made for the show. The opening was on Friday November 6th- and a brilliant night it was! Check out the photos here

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Chromagic’ 2015; acrylic, nylon thread and polaroid film on board  

 

The exhibition is currently showing at The Icon Factory in Temple Bar and will run until mid December.

The Icon Factory opening times:

Monday- Sunday 11am- 6pm

Visit:  The Icon Factory

The Blind Elephants and we’re on Facebook!

 

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I had the privilege to have digitised images for Nicola Gordon Bowe’s new book ‘Wilhelmina Geddes: Life and work.’ Such a beautiful publication about an extraordinary artist. The book was launched on Thursday 29th October at the Irish Architectural Archive.

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Wilhelmina Geddes (1887–1955) was a vital figure in the Irish Arts and Crafts movement and the 20th-century British stained glass revival – a medieval-modernist painter of rare intellect, skill and aesthetic integrity. On her death she was described as ‘the greatest stained glass artist of our time’ but since then she has been largely forgotten.

Wilhelmina Geddes (1887–1955) was a vital figure in the Irish Arts and Crafts movement and the 20th-century British stained glass revival – a medieval-modernist painter of rare intellect, skill and aesthetic integrity. On her death she was described as ‘the greatest stained glass artist of our time’ but since then she has been largely forgotten.

This magisterial account aims to bring Geddes, her world and her work to the wider audience that she deserves. As she moved from Belfast (where she attended art school), to Dublin (where she studied under William Orpen and worked with Sarah Purser at An Túr Gloine) to London (where she lived and worked throughout the Second World War and its aftermath), Geddes continued to produce stained glass and other works of unique power and originality.

Concentrating on the remarkable stained glass for which she is best known but also including other media such as printmaking and textiles, this study draws on hitherto-unpublished primary sources and images to fully celebrate Geddes’ remarkable artistic achievement.

Nicola Gordon Bowe, associate fellow, National College of Art & Design, has lectured and published widely on the applied arts and design. Publications include The Arts and Crafts Movements in Dublin and Edinburgh with E.S. Cumming (1998); Harry Clarke: the life and work (4th edition, 2012).

Visit Four Courts Press for more details.

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This September I was over the moon (no pun intended…well, maybe!) to discover that I was being given the opportunity to design a hare for the new Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation project, ‘Hares on the March’. The project has already commenced and culminating in March 2016 with a ‘Hare Trail’. The Hares on the March project will see a ‘Gathering’ of 110 3ft tall Hares being designed and beautifully created by a wonderful range of talented Irish artists. Each unique hare will sit on top of a stylish 4ft tall plinth; these will be located in public accessible places, similar to the Pigs on Parade event, and sold after in a Live Auction event and online in order to raise much needed funds for families of babies with brain damage nationwide. I’m hoping that Hares on the March project will have a positive impact on the cultural and social life of the Dublin City, whilst at the same time raising a chunk of much needed funds to support the invaluable work undertaken by The J&J Foundation.

So, why choose a hare?

Well, the Irish hare is indeed special – not because it is only found in Ireland but because it is also possibly our longest established native mammal – it was even here during the Ice Age! The Hare is a symbol of many things, all involving balance, Life, Creative Potency, Regeneration, Fertility, and Eternity.The symbolism is manifested in associations with Springtime, the Dawn, the Moon and Sacred Fire, the Egg, the Circle and the Infinity symbol, Marriage, Madness, Genius and Inspiration (both which seem to go hand in hand- haha!). 20151010_123124  20151013_091250

The 3ft x 1ft hare was delivered to my door by the very kind Shane from UPS on the morning of Saturday 10th October- thanks Shane!:)…the work has begun! mush mush!!

To keep updated on all of this worthwhile project’s news and developments check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HaresontheMarch

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One month has passed by on the residency at the Arthouse.  The peace and serenity of the studio and its surroundings has been unreal, a godsend. It always takes time to get settled into a studio and find ones “mojo”; but thankfully, a momentum has begun…

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The Barrow River on a sunny day in Stradbally village

 

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After just completing my first week of a six month residency at Laois Arthouse in Stradbally, County Laois; it was hard not to be distracted by the excitement and anticipation of the music festival, Electric Picnic which surrounded the village last week. But despite that, I managed to settle in and set up shop for the months ahead.

I have the rare opportunity to explore, a previously unseen Patrick Scott collection which was bequeathed to The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) . The collection consists of Scott’s studio books and diaries, professional and personal correspondence and even some maquettes from theatre productions sets that he had designed. The next six months will be the initial stages of archiving this acquisition, in the Edward Murphy Library at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, where I work;  while simultaneously making work at the Arthouse in response to my findings within this collection, which will be predominantly through painting and sound.

Included in the acquisition, is a box labelled ‘Studio Books,’ and it was there that I found a book by Henry Miller, published in 1947 called ‘The Wisdom of the Heart’  (the title alone caught me without any hesitation).This book is a combination of essays written articulately and non apologetically about creativity, culture and ultimately, the human condition. Essay titles include ‘Creative Death’, ‘The Enormous Womb’ and ‘The Cosmological Eye‘ to name but a few. So far i’m enthralled, and this book from Scott’s own studio practice has already charged the beginning of a six-month artistic endeavor at the Arthouse. With gratitude to Pat.

* Miller, Henry. (1947) The Wisdom of the Heart, London: Editions Poetry London

 

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Ode to Boogie Woogie 2015 (1)
Ode to Boogie Woogie’ (2015) acrylic, corrugated cardboard and wood; 36cm x 28cm x 5cm 

Over the past number of years, when Andrew Sweeney from the SCOOP Foundation has invited me to take part in the next art auction, i’ve always been delighted to be a part of it; but this year’s annual SCOOP Art Auction & Exhibition is extra special…

The Scoop Foundation has invited 33 of Ireland’s most loved artists to provide a creative recipe, and to provide an equally creative artwork to illustrate it. The result? -a truly unique cook AND art book, showcasing creative talents and tastes in Ireland today!

The 33 artworks from the Cook Book will be on display in the Third Space cafe in Smithfield from the 10th of Sept until the 30th of Sept . On the 30th of September they will be sold at an exciting live auction, along with 65 other selected artworks that are on show at The Lighthouse Cinema, both in Smithfield. A great night out and, most importantly, it’s for a brilliant cause.

In alphabetical order, the featured artists are:

Adrienne M. Finnerty, Adrian Michael Mulryan, ADW, Aidan Butler, Aisling Conroy, Alan O’Connor, Alison McDonnell, Bennie Reilly, Boz Mugabe, Brian Gallagher, Christopher Curran, Daire Irwin,DANLEO, Damien Redmond, DANLEO, David Mc Dermott, Dee O’ Shea, DMC, Dominic Turner,  Dorje de BurghEMICEoin CoveneyErin QuinnEsther Moliné, Fergal Brennan, Fergal O’Connor, Hazel Coonagh, Hugh O’Conor, Joby Hickey, John Rooney, Jacob StackJo CumminsJonathan Von Baumann, Killian Dunne,  Larry Dunne, Leo de FreyneLinda PlunkettLOKILouise DonnellyLouise KellyMargo Banks, Mark Baker (signed by Daniel Day Lewis), Mark Redden, Martina Furlong,  Marty CullenMerce Canadell (ESP), Mick Minogue, Mo Kelly, Nils Westergard (USA).

Paul ‘Poncho’ ByrneRebecca WalshRinn Kaljurand, Ross Stewart, Sarah Rossney, Seamus TuohySenor X (ESP), Shane Berkey, Shane McCarthy, Shane O’Driscoll, Shane Sutton,  Sinead Bailey KellySiobhan O’Callaghan, Steve McCarthy, Tom Mc Lean, Wolfgang Grinschgl (AUS),  Yvette Monahan.

Viewings: 10th of Sept – 29th of August in Third Space Cafe & The Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin 7.

Auction Night: Wednesday the 30th of September 2015 @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

‘Ode to Boogie Woogie’ will be exhibited in the Lighthouse Cinema venue and available to purchase at the live auction on September 30th. All proceeds go to the children’s charity, The SCOOP Foundation.

For more info visit  http://artcookbook.ie/  and  http://scoopfoundation.com/

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In June this year I had the privilege of joining The Blind Elephant Collective, an illustration collective based in Dublin with a talented and eclectic fusion of artists and styles.  As a new member, I was delighted to be invited to take part in their retrospective show, ‘Five Years in the Trunk’ at the Bernard Shaw (see work below). So far it has been loads of fun getting stuck back into one of my favorite passions, drawing; and i’m really looking forward to working on more illustration projects with the other “Blind Elephants” over the coming months. Big congrats to the Blind Elephant Collective on their five year success! For more info visit  http://www.blindelephantcollective.com/

 

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Exotic Beast, 2015; acrylic, enamel, ink, nylon thread and Indian stamps on board (21.5cm x 21.5cm)

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In a land that mourns the recent loss of material wealth, we sometimes have to stop and look at the richness that is all around us. Richness abounds in the Midlands and often it is free for us to enjoy; no money need change hands. Standing in the dusky evening as the light fades across the Slieve Blooms, monasticism ever present, castles, grand houses, burial sites, folklore, and hidden secrets beneath your feet as you walk the bogs and “the dark mutinous Shannon waves”.[i] In such moments it is difficult not to feel the rich pull of history and ancient culture and how it juxtaposes with the now, in the Midlands. Ghost estates, emigration, modern settlers, and orbital routes. Arteries pulsating with high speed traffic through the Midlands, often whirring over hidden gems.

In collaboration with Damer House Gallery and at the invitation of Muireann Ní Chonaill, artists associated with the Midlands have responded to the theme of Saibhreas, which means richness and abundance in Irish. Ranging from photography, print, painting and sculpture to film and audio, each artist has been influenced by people, surroundings and the life of the Midlands.

As rich as Damer is an Irish phrase which refers to the prosperity of the Damer family. Very often we do not know the origins of phrases but in this instance, we do. Damer House dates from the 1720’s and is believed to have been built for John Damer soon after he bought the town of Roscrea in 1722. Damer’s uncle, Joseph Damer, originally from Dorset, settled in Ireland in the aftermath of Charles II’s restoration in 1660 and prospered as a Dublin moneylender, to the extent that he was able to purchase estates in North Tipperary. Having no children of his own, he brought over his nephew, John, both to assist him in the business and to inherit his wealth. Damer House is unusual in that it stands in the centre of a 13th century castle on which work commenced during the reign of King John.

In this celebration of artistic creativity, the richness and abundance associated with the Midlands is acknowledged. Saibhreas will travel to the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, opening on June 18th at 7:30pm

[1] The Dead, James Joyce

 

The artists: Aisling Conroy; Brendon Deacy; Brian Redmond; Caroline Conway; Cathy Carman; Eileen McDonagh; Eoin O’Conaill; Jerry Cahir; Jock Nichol; Ken Wardrop; Lisa Fingleton; Lorraine Walsh; Michael Boran; Niall Cahìr; Nick Miller; Nuala Hayes; Pat Fitzpatrick; Ray Murphy; Rita Duffy; Ruth Barry; Sharon Murphy; Simon Burch; Stephen Loughman; Vera McEvoy and Wendy Wright.

Curator: Muireann Ní Chonaill is Arts Officer in Laois County Council and Manager of the Laois Arthouse. She is a graduate of Arts Administration from UCD and has an MA in Visual Arts, specialising in Curating from IADT. She oversees the management of the Laois Arthouse in Stradbally. Last year she curated the Sitting residency by Nick Miller in the Laois Arthouse.

Thanks Laois County Council Arts Office for assistance. Special thanks to Wendy Wright for curatorial assistance in preparation of Saibhreas.

For more information contact: The Arts Office, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co Laois. T: 057 8664019. E: artsoff@laoiscoco.ie. Or Damer House Gallery E: damerhousegallery@gmail.com.

 

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Radius,2015,  acrylic and nylon thread on board_ 25cm x 235cm
Radius (2015) acrylic and nylon thread on canvas; 25cm x 25cm

 

Nepal Leprosy Trust (Irl) presents,  Borders: From Kathmandu to Kerry and Beyond is an International group-touring art exhibition examining the concept of borders in Nepal, a country that is completely landlocked; in comparison with Ireland, a country surrounded by water.

Exhibition Dates:

  • Kathmandu, Nepal –1st – 9th April 2015
  • Cill Rialaig, Kerry – Sunday, 3rd May 2015
  • Laois Arthouse, Stradbally, Co Laois, Thursday 11th June 2015.